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Apple Challenges $625.5M Jury Award In Patent Case

Mirror Worlds' multimillion-dollar award in a patent infringement suit amounts to "triple dipping" Apple contends in a motion it filed requesting a stay of the jury decision.
Apple has asked a federal judge to toss out a $625.5 million award by a jury that found the Mac maker had violated three patents related to how documents are displayed on a Mac, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The U.S. District Court jury in Tyler, Texas, found on Friday that Apple had infringed on the Mirror Worlds patents in developing Time Machine, Spotlight and Cover Flow. The jury awarded the plaintiff $208.5 million on each patent.

Time Machine, Spotlight and Cover Flow allow people to scroll through files in a way that's like flipping through a deck of cards. Cover Flow is for scrolling through album cover art when looking for music in the iTunes library in Apple devices, Time Machine makes backup copies of files and Spotlight is used to search for files. The latter two are in the Mac.

On Sunday, Apple filed an emergency motion asking U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis for a stay of the jury decision, saying that the damages awarded on each patent amounted to Mirror Worlds "triple dipping." In addition, Davis had said that he would reconsider the evidence regarding infringement of two of the patents and could reverse the jury's ruling, Apple argued. The judge's decision on the request is pending.

The patents reflect the work of Yale computer scientists Eric Freeman and David Gelernter, who in the mid-1990s recognized that the desktop metaphor has its limits and proposed to organize computer documents in a time-ordered stream.

Mirror Worlds, which sued Apple in March 2008, began operating in 1997 and shipped its first enterprise software product, Scopeware, in March 2001. In 2002, it released a desktop product called Scopeware Vision. The company closed its doors on May 15, 2004.


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